by Alejandro Torres Frías

I’ve recently started to analyze a new business venture in the field of IT with a good friend of mine, and now partner, based in Silicon Valley.  The fact that he’s located in the US and I’m in Chile, makes this business opportunity viable considering that our operations would be ran from Chile and the US simultaneously and coordinately.  Given the fact I can currently work only part time on this project, because I have a job at a business I founded with other partners a few years ago, I don’t have a lot of extra time to invest in this project at this early stage.  My friend is in a similar situation, so we’re faced with having to develop this project on a part time, bi-hemisphere basis.  So, how are we supposed to develop a serious business effort thousands of miles away, with not a lot of time?  Thanks to some business know-how and wiki technology, very easily indeed.

It has been amazing to realize how in less than 3 hours, all of the the necessary business documentation was born and well on its way to a successful and complete development through only 4 documents hosted in Google Docs and Spreadsheets, the free most accessible wiki service around town.

If you are not sure of what a wiki is, make sure to watch this great 3 minute video introduction to wikis, from our friends at ZDNET and then continue reading this post under the video player:

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To get started with the business analysis, I was supposed to generate a couple of documents which would help us start this effort effectively and then send them to my partner.  A few years back, I would have instantly launched an Excel or Word document, but instead (more…)



by Alejandro Torres Frías

In this, Part 2 of a series of tips and tricks to help us become effective and fluent computer users and internauts, I’m moving into surfing, archiving and retrieving web pages, one of the most frequent and probable uses for Internet “administration”.

2.  Get into Social Bookmarking to Organize, Expand and Retrieve Your Own Web
OK, you’ve downloaded one, some or all of the nice browsers I recommended on a previous post and feel ready to go to the Internet to do some research, e-mail, RSS feed reading or simply surf away, expecting to find and learn something new, cool, strange or even unexpected.  As we surf the web over time, we come across hundreds and even thousands of websites that we may want to save hoping to go back to them sometime in the future.   Bookmarking a website for later referral is one of the ways we can take hold of the web and its contents, thus creating some sort of “own” web.

Saving to “favorites” with the button on top of your browser was unfortunately the only solution we had for a long time.  The problem with the classic favorites was that when the number of web pages and/or folders saved grew to a high number, it became more and more difficult to later find the saved web pages you were looking for.  Another problem would be if we were at our home computer and realized that the bookmark we were looking for was at the office computer or at another computer somewhere else.  How many times did you loose all of your bookmarks saved in favorites after switching computers, installing or re-installing an OS?  Sure there were ways to back-up the favorite files to install them in another computer, but the very essence of it, the saving and retrieving method just didn’t work.  When you save files, folders and/or bookmarks, you want to make sure you will be able to find it again without great effort and in almost no time.

Thanks to social bookmarking, we’ve been able to solve the previously mentioned problems.  With social bookmarking, instead of (more…)

by Alejandro Torres Frías

When it comes to improving our computer experience, there’s nothing better than learning as many tricks as possible that can be easily implemented by the average user.  If you are one of those people who like to learn tips and tricks about computers, this series of posts is for you.  Instead of trying the typical “Top 10 Tricks and Techniques” type of article, in one article, I’ve chosen a “Series” type of approach, which will allow me the necessary time to think about each next recommendation I’ll write about. Let’s look then, at my favorite tricks and techniques for an optimum computer experience:

1. Use all 5 Great Browsers to Surf the Web

I hope that by now, you are aware that the “little blue e” icon on your desktop doesn’t mean Internet, it only means access to Internet.  The “blue e” is called Explorer, and it’s Microsoft’s browser.  Browsers are used to access the Internet, and if you think it’s the only browser out there, think again.  The fact that Microsoft happens to load with its OS and software about 92% of the computers in the world, and they happen to install only THEIR browser, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t other ways to access the Net. There are in fact over 10 browsers (more…)

by Alejandro

If only we were able to organize, search and find physical, real books, magazines, newspapers, documents, files, photographs, videos and records in the same, potentially effective way that you can do it with digital mediums today, we would have started the current knowledge and information revolution decades ago.

It’s in organizing, searching and finding where things make a difference in (more…)